Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gutter Flutter

It's 65 degrees right now, but with the wind it feels positively chilly.  I'm comfortably wrapped up in a shawl, even as I have all the windows open to flood the house with the wonderful fresh air.  Fall is my favorite season, and I'm loving it - chilly breeze and all.

I've been knitting like crazy in preparation for the Christmas season, but also because nothing feels cozier in the fall than to curl up with a ball of yarn at your side and a project in your lap.  Here's a peek of a few things that I've been working on:


I don't think I've ever had so many knitting projects going at the same time!  I'm already looking ahead to future projects.  I keep saying that I'm going to start knitting for myself, and I'm going to start with a pair of fingerless gloves...something that sounds really good right now!

We're doing our end-of-season yard work, too.  Todd has been up on the roof, cleaning the gutters.

We've both been working in the beds, weeding and pruning, and Todd swept up the paint chips from our recent house painting.

We spent an hour in our little swinging seat this weekend, looking out over the water and enjoying the wonderful weather.  Starting next weekend, our board games will be played down there, with a roaring fire going in the outdoor fireplace.  A double hooray for fall!

We can see the changing seasons in the insects, too.  These brown shield bugs are all over our screens.

They want inside, a warm place where they can overwinter.  They're harmless to us, but destructive to crops.  They're actually native to Asia, but came over here sometime in the 1990s, probably in shipped goods.  They have no natural predators here, so they've been able to spread quickly!

Spiders, of course, are everywhere in the fall.  This beauty is Neoscona crucifera and lives just outside our bedroom patio door.

Lots of spiny-backed orb weavers around...

...and lots of tattered web remains in this late season.

It's fun to be working and observing outside in the fall, but fall baking is a great joy for me too.  Hearty stews and homemade bread, roasted chicken, squash and late-season root vegetables are all nice, but it's the sweets that hold a special place in my heart...starting with pumpkin bread. 

I have a favorite recipe, of course (recipe here), but I kicked it up a notch this week by adding 1/2 teaspoon of cardamon, leaving the ground cinnamon at one teaspoon, and adding a cup of cinnamon chips.  I can't believe how much that improved an already-wonderful recipe.  Letting it sit a day or two makes it even better.

I do decrease the white sugar by one cup now, because 2 cups of sugar plus (or without) frosting is plenty for us.  But if you're feeling indulgent, go for it!  Just don't forget those cinnamon chips...they really take it to the next level. 

Have a great week! 

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